MP Rashida Tlaib, backed by two of her peers, Jesus Garcia and Stephen Lynch, has tabled a bill relating to stablecoins. The STABLE Act – Stablecoin Tethering and Bank Licensing Enforcement Act- intends to regulate the issuance of stablecoins in the United States.
Issuers of stablecoins assimilated to banks?
The STABLE Act intends to regulate the issuance of stablecoins by requiring the obtaining of a banking license before even considering the launch of a stablecoin.
The stated aim of this proposed law would be to “protect low-income households who invest in stablecoins” . Companies issuing these currencies do not follow the same rules as banks, which could be detrimental to individuals, according to the authors of the bill .
“The STABLE Act is a concrete step toward protecting Americans’ finances and ensuring safety and soundness in financial institutions” Stephen lynch said.
“Getting ahead of the curve on preventing cryptocurrency providers from repeating the crimes against low- and moderate-income residents of color that traditional big banks have is—and has been—critically important,” Congresswoman Tlaib said.
This necessarily echoes Libra’s re-branding towards Diem, who is seeking to issue a dollar-backed stable coin . This project is often highlighted by US regulators as a potential threat to the stability of the financial system.
Draconian regulations for stablecoin issuers
The STABLE Act, if passed, would rest on four pillars:
- Any issuer of stablecoins must obtain a banking license,
- Companies issuing stablecoins will have to comply with existing banking regulations,
- Companies issuing stablecoins will have to obtain authorization from the central bank and their benchmark banking partner,
- Approval must be obtained at least 6 months before the launch of its services,
- The project would also require issuers of stablecoins to maintain sufficient reserves in dollars, consigned to the central bank. All the tokens issued should thus be able to be converted into dollars at any time.
The announcement of this bill sparked strong reactions on Twitter. On the one hand, because the drafters of the text position themselves as the protector of the most disadvantaged against cryptoassets. On the other hand, because this bill could represent, once again, a brake on innovation.
The most interesting thing about the STABLE Act is not whether it will be enacted (it won’t). It’s that it can only apply, by definition, to centralized fiat-backed stablecoins, therefore making decentralized alternatives even more attractive.
— Andreas ☮ 🌈 ⚛ ⚖ 🌐 📡 📖 📹 🔑 🛩 (@aantonop) December 3, 2020
In view of the political calendar, it seems that this law will not be seriously discussed for several months, and that it is unlikely to be passed as it is. Indeed, the current parliamentary session is coming to an end in less than a month. If the debates are not finished by this date, the project will have to be proposed again to Congress in January.